Friday, July 27, 2012

THE B&O ROUNDHOUSE FIRE

    I can see it in my mind's eye, clearly....

     Flames, leaping into the night sky, seeming to my child's mind to be miles high. Firehoses snaking across the ground, and water running into the gutter. The Grone Folx are all standing around, watching as the firemen try vainly to extinguish the blaze. 
Someone shouts, "Evacuate the area!", and someone else shouts, "Shut the @#%$ UP!"

     I'm about seven years old, and the B&O Roundhouse, to the southeast of our house, is on fire.
I don't know what time it is, only that I was awakened by the G.F. clamoring to each other as they head out of doors to see what's going on-I, of course, followed them.

      People, the whole neighborhood it seems, are out there, watching the structure blazing away in the night. More fire trucks than I'd ever seen in one spot are there, but they are unable to do more than keep the fire from spreading.

     Finally, my mother takes me by the hand, and leads me back to the house. In the morning, we hear that the Roundhouse burned to the ground.

     Ever since then, I've tried to find an article, picture, or something about that fire, to no avail; the Black River Historical Society lists a roundhouse fire in South Lorain back in, (I think) '36, but obviously, that's not it. My colleagues Dan Brady and Dennis Lamont have nothing on it, or have ever heard of it.

     Does anyone who reads this blog remember the Roundhouse Fire of '63, or-
DID I DREAM IT?

4 comments:

  1. Hi Alan,

    Do any of these photos look familiar?

    http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=61540

    They show what's left of the B& O Roundhouse and yard in the mid-1980s.

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  2. DAN- those shots are of the roundhouse that burned in the thirties, out near 28th Street; the one I remember was near the 21st Street entrance to the steel mill.

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  3. You mentioned that fire here too:
    http://pointingthecannon.blogspot.com/2011/08/views.html

    I was told that The B&O Historical Society may be able to answer your questions about the Roundhouse.
    http://www.borhs.org/index.html

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  4. LISA- I attempted to contact the borhs, but their e-mail address in "undeliverable", according to Yahoo.

    ReplyDelete